Call For Application: UNESCO Futures Literacy in Africa Champions

UNESCO Futures Literacy Champions

UNESCO Futures Literacy Champions

The Imagining Africa’s Futures project is launching a call for expressions of interest for local champions in Africa. Local champions are expected to be key constituents of UNESCO and its partners’ effort to conduct research in Futures Literacy by co-designing and co-running Futures Literacy Laboratories in their local communities. Local champions can be a team of driven individuals or organisations.

UNESCO is moving forward with its partners to understand why and how people ‘use the future’.

Through the collaborative and interdisciplinary Imagining Africa’s Futures (IAF) project, UNESCO and the OCP Foundation are joining forces to change the way the future is conceived and used in Africa. IAF conducts scientific research into why and how people ‘use-the-future’ by undertaking prototype testing of Futures Literacy Laboratories (FLL) in Africa. Its aim: to prove that by changing the way we approach the future, we can better understand our present fears and hopes.

IAF is a rare and cutting-edge research project that is conducting the ‘prototyping phase’ of the ‘innovation cycle’ where the prototype being tested is a specific kind of Futures Literacy Laboratory, the Futures Literacy Laboratory – Novelty.

FLLs will be designed to invite, appreciate and advance the foresight capacities of a diverse range of local actors – from decision-makers in government and business to local community activists promoting youth and gender agendas. FLLs will generate new and innovative strategies, policies and networks to be put to use for Africa, by Africans.

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What do FLL reveal?
Futures Literacy Laboratories (FLL) are currently in the prototyping phase of the innovation cycle. The aim of this phase is to test generalizable procedural goals, rules and methods that will in most situations ensure that FLL achieve the following objectives:

  • revealing people’s anticipatory assumptions,
  • enhancing their capacity to use the future for different reasons and in different ways in different contexts (this is what it means to acquire the capability that is called Futures Literacy),
  • enabling them to ask new questions, and
  • allowing for a better understanding of what is FL and how to design/conduct FLL
  • reveal Novelty rather than Predictions: the shift Futures Literacy suggests is from Anticipation-for-Future to Anticipation-for-Emergence.

Local champions act as the co-designers and organizers of FLLs and are therefore key constituents of the research process.

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The testing of FLL-NP during this prototyping phase will occur in two waves. The first one will target initiation and co-design (Stages 1 & 2) with ‘local champions’ during the Spring/Summer of 2019 in order to run the Lab (Stages 3 & 4) during the early Fall 2019. The second wave will launch in the Fall 2019, with the aim of running more Labs in the Winter of 2019.  In total it is expected that the IAF project will conduct five special FLL-NP tests as part of the preparation for finalisation of an FLL-N ready for general use.

To ApplyDownload the Form:

English | French [PDF format]

Download the explanation of what is a Futures Literacy Laboratory-Novelty (FLL-N):

English | French [PDF format]

Send it via email, duly signed and stamped, to

  • Africa Department – Abdoulaye Ibrahim,
  • Social and Human Sciences Sector – Riel Miller,

Submission Deadline: open call. Deadline for the first wave of selections: 24 March 2019.

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Read more on UNESCO Futures Literacy in Africa Champions website